Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The opposite of the Greatest Generation

it seems, is the Stimulus Generation:
In the afterglow of President Obama's inauguration, it's easy to forget that Mrs. Pelosi's similarly historic elevation to the speaker's chair just two years ago had its own elements of a coronation -- and its own claims of change we were to believe in.

Like President Obama, who characterized his ascent to the White House as a mark of "how far we have traveled," Speaker Pelosi spoke of her swearing in as a "moment for which we have waited more than 200 years."

Like President Obama, whose supporters made ubiquitous a red, white and blue image of the candidate over the word "hope," Speaker Pelosi's supporters brandished their own icon at her swearing-in: commemorative buttons depicting her as Rosie the Riveter flexing her muscle.

And like President Obama, Speaker Pelosi heralded her election as "a call to change." In her acceptance speech, she put it this way: "We have made history," she said. "Now let us make progress for our new America."

That was January 2007. Before the year was out, her approval ratings would be lower than George W. Bush's.

Under her leadership, Congress failed to pass a single appropriations bill until early November. Congress also failed to override the president's veto on what Democrats thought would be an easy win for an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Most significant of all, Congress failed to force Mr. Bush to begin what Democrats had said was their real goal: a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.


Just as she did with war funding, Mrs. Pelosi is once again putting her fellow Democrats -- Mr. Obama included -- in the position of defending the indefensible. And she let it all ride on a game of chicken. Her bet has been that a Republican minority would sooner or later cry "uncle" on a laundry list of pet Democratic spending projects rather than risk being painted as holding up vital economic legislation.

Instead of saving the world for those yet to be born (like the generation of WWII), we are passing on huge liabilities.

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